How to Become a Better Photographer
Photographer, You’re watching a beautiful sunset in the Mojave Desert while the sky changes colours as if an artist painted it.
The few clouds that are visible makes the landscape breathtaking and you need to capture the moment with a camera.
As the sun moves to the horizon, you pull out your compact camera from your backpack and take a photograph.
But the photograph comes out dark on the LCD screen on the back of your compact, point-and-shoot camera. And you can’t figure out why.
This is a common problem for many novice photographers.
Most likely the point-and-shoot camera’s setting is set to automatic mode. This allows the camera to calibrate the surroundings and choose the best capture settings. This isn’t something you want to leave to your camera as the settings can often be incorrect.
It’s advisable to learn the basics of a camera and improve your photography skills.
So, how do you become a better photographer?
In order to become a better photographer, you should get away from the point-and-shoot cameras. Even a modern smartphone usually has a better camera with more options to customize the settings. Furthermore, it’s best to get an interchangeable-lens DSLR or mirrorless camera. There are a few reasons to get these types of cameras.
First, they have advanced options which allow you to manually adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. What are these settings you may wonder?
Aperture is the size
Photographer Well, the aperture is the size of the opening in the lens which allows light into the camera.
Shutter speed is a curtain or plane inside the camera which opens and closes in front of the image sensor to capture or record the light (photograph).
ISO is the image sensor’s sensitivity: the higher the ISO the brighter the image will be.
By manually controlling the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, you can make sunset and sunrise photographs not come out too dark or too bright. However, to capture the full range of light in a twilight photo, you’ll need to do HDR photography.
DSLR or mirrorless camera
The second reason you’ll want an interchangeable-lens DSLR or mirrorless camera, as the name suggests, is because you can swap lenses according to the subject you’re trying to photograph.
For example, if you’re photographing a landscape, you’re going to need a wide-angle lens. These types of lenses are perfect when there is a large degree of view and you want to photograph as much as possible without cropping away important areas.
Professional landscape photographers
You could always try to take multiple shots and make a panoramic shot by stitching them but the image can come out distorted or with incorrect perspective. That’s why professional landscape photographers use wide-angle lenses.
In addition to wide-angle lenses, if you’re photographing wildlife that is over a kilometre away, you can change your lens to a telephoto lens. Photographer These lenses specialize in photographing objects far away without losing detail. You wouldn’t want to leave your jeep in a safari to get close to a lion and take a photo. A telephoto lens just makes sense.
Photographer So, how do you learn how to use these manual camera settings and lenses? The best thing to do is search for free YouTube tutorials on basic camera settings. YouTube as an abundant number of professional photographers teaching beginners on how to use an advanced camera. But it’s not just about watching tutorials, you’ll need to use your camera in the field.
Keep taking photographs and review their quality at home.
Photographer, You’ll need an image management software such as Lightroom or Luminar. Lightroom is the industry standard in image management so there are plenty of YouTube videos if you want to learn about the software. Luminar is more for novice photographers or people that don’t want to pay for the Lightroom monthly subscription fee. You can read the Luminar review for more information.
Another aspect of photography is post-editing images. This is the reality of photography even if you’re a professional photographer or just shooting for fun.
Photographer Regardless of how good your photography equipment and skills are, they can sometimes be limited by natural light or surroundings. A camera can’t always capture the correct exposure or colour of a scene. That’s why editing images should be added to your photography skills. You’ll want to make your images pop. Luckily, Lightroom and Luminar can both edit images in addition to organizing them.
By have the right photography gear and software, you can drastically improve your skills and capture the best images. Remember, the most important part of photography is to go out and keep shooting. And having some patience isn’t a bad thing either.